Carrot halwa

Here is a recipe for an Indian dessert called "Gaajar ka halwa" = Carrot halwa. In India we get red carrots, I haven't seen them here. And with red carrots this dish tastes a world apart, but lets do with what we have at hand.

In a food processor, finely shred 6 carrots. Saute the shredded carrots in a non-stick pan with 2 tablespoons of "ghee" {clarified butter you can get at an Indian grocery store}. Throw in slivered almonds, pistachios and some light brown raisins. After 5-7 minutes of continuous stirring, pour in 2% milk to barely cover the carrots. Also add in 2 tablespoons of ricotta cheese. Pound 1 cardamom, and pour powder into the milk along with 3-4 strands of saffron.
Mix in everything thoroughly and reduce the flame. When most of the milk has evaporated, add in half a cup of sugar and cook until the sugar is dissolved, and further till the milk has reduced completely. Milk and ricotta together will leave behind fine crumbles. This halwa dish is very popular in winter months and can stay refrigerated for 2-3 weeks. Every time you get that post meal sweet craving, scoop out 2 tablespoons and microwave for 45 seconds to enjoy a scrumptious dessert.

The sugar content can be varied to taste and diet. The ricotta is only a quick alternative. Usually Indian homes make this with something called "mawa" which is a dryer ricotta.

Health benefits:
Carrots are packed with antioxidants and are probably the richest vegetable source of Vitamin A and betacarotene. They are known to reduce cardiovascular disease, help and protect vision, specifically night vision, protect against colon cancer and promote lung health.


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